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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger
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    Messed-up Taskbar

    Edited by HansV to reduce VERY wide screenshot in size. Please don't post pictures larger than 640x48- pixels in size.

    The taskbar on my Win2000 Pro computer has become messed up and quite unusable. The QuickLaunch toolbar appears twice, the area for minimized programs is located incorrectly and is too small to hold more than two programs, there is a large unusable area in the middle of the screen, and it won't save any changes that I make to it. I don't know what I did to cause this problem (it was fine until two days ago), and I haven't been able to get it back to the way that I want it.

    I can manually delete one of the two QuickLaunch items and drag the "main" area for minimized programs over to the left side. However, I can only shrink the "unused" area -- not eliminate it entirely. When I restart Windows, it reverts to the state shown in the attached file.

    Any advice how to fix it would be appreciated.
    --------------------------------------------------
    Jack MacDonald
    Vancouver, Canada

  2. #2
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    Re: Messed-up Taskbar

    Not familiar with Win2000, but I suspect that the Taskbar behaves the same way as in Win XP. Did you Unlock the Taskbar before attempting your changes? If not, any changes you did make will be lost when you restart Windows. Unlock, make changes and then Lock again. Changes should stick.
    John
    A Child's Mind, Once Stretched by Imagination...
    Never Regains Its Original Dimensions

  3. #3
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Messed-up Taskbar

    Hi Jack. Did you do any more to solve this problem? Somehow I meant to reply but forgot. Have you tried to put the task bar back in native condition by turning off the QuickLaunch and Desktop toolbars and rebooting the machine? If you can do that, I would then turn on QL and then run an application like Windows Explorer, just to have a running app showing on the taskbar. THEN try turning on the Desktop toolbar. When I did mine in this sequence, I ended up with QL on the left, space for running apps in the center, and the Desktop toolbar on the right next to the tray.

  4. #4
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    Re: Messed-up Taskbar

    I have tried mightily, but no joy... it is still messed up. I had previously tried steps similar to your suggestion, and I just went thru the steps again. Turned off all the toolbars and shut down Windows. Got a message about "Windows is saving your settings" (it was on-screen for ~30 seconds) so *something* must be happening. (I believe that our network employs Roaming Profiles, but I don't understand the details). When Windows started again, all the toolbars were back in their messed-up locations.

    Took this problem to our IT-support-guy, and he is perplexed too. All we can figure is that something is hidden in a Group Policy that disables the ability to save changes to the toolbar configuration. He doesn't recall ever enabling a setting in the Group Policy that would explictly deny the ability to save taskbar settings. Only trouble is... that doesn't account for the ability to mess up the taskbar configuration in the first place. I have searched through the C: drive and Registry to try to find where Windows stores the information about toolbar configuration, but so far it eludes me. I thought that if I *found* that information, I might be able to figure out a way to fix it.

    I have just resigned myself to it being one of those Windows Annoyances (somebody should write a book... Hey! somebody already has!) that I just have to put up with. Thanks for the input.
    --------------------------------------------------
    Jack MacDonald
    Vancouver, Canada

  5. #5
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Messed-up Taskbar

    Take a look here for a tip that might lead you to that registry key.

    Have you tried grabbing the right vertical line on the unuseable area and dragging it to the left past the line for the "normal" QuickLaunch bar and releasing the mouse ?? That might get rid of that part of the problem and make the rest of the issues solveable. I've found that toolbars can do som pretty strange things when you start dragging them around. If it doesn't work, it shouldn't do any harm and from what you're saying the system will revert on a reboot. HTH <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>
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  6. #6
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    Re: Messed-up Taskbar

    Doc - have a beer on me!! <img src=/S/cheers.gif border=0 alt=cheers width=30 height=16> Or maybe have two <img src=/S/cheers.gif border=0 alt=cheers width=30 height=16>

    The link you provided was probably a red herring. Both items mentioned in the article were missing from the registry, but there was one called NoSaveSettings. I changed it from the current value of "1" to "0" and rebooted. No change.

    But your idea of dragging the unuseable area seemed to fix everything. Once that was done, and rebooted, then the taskbar was back to normal. Furthermore, that simple change noticeably improved the shutdown and logon times. Shutdown used to be painfully slow -- 30-45 seconds. Now it's virtually instantaneous, and it seems to retain the settings between sessions. Bootup is also much faster, too. Dunno why, but I like it!

    I changed the NoSaveSettings back to the original "1", and it still seems to work properly. I have a haikku on my wall, and once again it proved to be true:

    Yesterday it worked
    Today it's not working
    Windows is like that.



    Thanks for the tip!!!
    --------------------------------------------------
    Jack MacDonald
    Vancouver, Canada

  7. #7
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Messed-up Taskbar

    <center> <img src=/S/joy.gif border=0 alt=joy width=23 height=23></center>

    I had something similar happen once when my teenage daughter used my machine and left the taskbar all screwed up like yours was (she liked to click and draw on the desktop with the cursor and must have grabbed a taskbar handle inadvertently). Took a bit of poking around and knowing her habits to figure out how to get things right again. Just looked like that solution might work for you. Glad it did. <img src=/S/yep.gif border=0 alt=yep width=15 height=15>
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